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Mollie Hayden ’14

Environmental Policy Major

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I work at a small nonprofit in Denver called the Sand Creek Regional Greenway Partnership. We are a two-woman organization and I am our partnership and program manager. Our mission is to improve, preserve, and protect the natural, recreational, and cultural resources of the Sand Creek Regional Greenway, an urban trail that connects Aurora, Denver, and Commerce City, Colorado.

Benefits of the CC experience?
My senior year at CC was a challenge for me academically. I lost sight of the value of learning for learning's sake and almost did not graduate. Thanks to incredibly supportive thesis advisors, friends, and mentors, I finished my thesis and graduated on time. I really could not have done it without them. That experience taught me a lot about what is and isn't fulfilling to me, and the value of cultivating community. Community building continues to inspire me and is a large part of why I work in the nonprofit sector.

Impacts of your major?
I have to wear a lot of different hats at our two-person organization. On any given day I am working on our financials, organizing a trail restoration project, and working on our environmental education curriculum. I am incredibly grateful for the wide variety of required courses in the environmental policy major. Engaging with so many diverse topics in Tutt Science Center and Palmer Hall gave me the skills to do the same at our office and out on the trail.

Key milestones?
Our organization recently helped form a coalition of other nonprofits, municipalities, and state and federal land management agencies that was awarded a planning grant and is pursuing additional funding to connect youth with the outdoors in the northeast metro region. Working with so many diverse stakeholders around that one mission has been inspiring. It really feels like we are greater than the sum of our parts.

I am also very proud of our book group. Everyone is a female and a recent CC grad, and they are some of the strongest women I know.

Future aspirations?
I recently met with a financial planner and told him that my biggest priority in the next five years is to own a dog. Fingers crossed!

July 2016

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Chrissy Maruyama ’14

Organismal Biology and Ecology Major

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I am currently living and working in the beautiful Salt Lake City, Utah! I work in a salivary gland research lab at the University of Utah School of Dentistry. I have my hands in a few different projects, but ultimately I am working to find more curative (versus palliative) solutions and treatments for patients suffering from chronic dry mouth, a common affliction that can lead to dental caries, ulcers, and painful speech and swallowing.

Benefits of the CC experience?
CC has shaped my current life by teaching me early on to work hard professionally, to savor the time outside of school, work to play, and build healthy relationships with people and the environment. Block Plan classes with rigorous deadlines have translated well into my current job where experiments and manuscripts with rigorous deadlines are the norm. CC is also where I found Ultimate Frisbee, which has since been the driving force helping me to make new friends and find my own niche in a brand new community.

Impacts of your major?
I believe that my major had an enormous impact on my current life. The biology faculty are all very knowledgeable, and their mentorship over four years really helped me to accelerate once I started my first full-time job in science. Although it is one of the biggest majors at CC, I always felt that there was a wonderful feeling of camaraderie and closeness within the major, perhaps developed during long walks in the woods with Marc Snyder and Tass Kelso, or chatting with Donna Sison over cookies in pungent formaldehyde-drenched scrubs (cadaver lab). That feeling of closeness with the other students and faculty led to a feeling of closeness with the curriculum and increased my overall passion for the field.

Key milestones?
I have published three primary research articles since graduation and that has been very rewarding.

Future aspirations?
I am in the process of applying to nursing school with the aspiration of becoming a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). It has been great to work in the academic research scene for a couple of years and I believe it has given me the perspective I need to take the next step towards a life-long career.

July 2016

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Grete Wilt ’14

Molecular Biology Major

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I recently obtained my Master of Public Health (MPH) degree and currently work as a spatial statistician at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia in the geospatial research, analysis, and prevention branch. I mainly perform analyses on a variety of spatio-temporal datasets ranging from Ebola quarantine effectiveness to suicide clusters to ovarian cancer vulnerability, and then I work with a multidisciplinary agency to translate these findings into appropriate public health interventions or campaigns. Much of my work consists of working with principal investigators from a wide range of backgrounds and applying methodologies that address their key hypotheses. I then work with them on interpreting the results in a way that will have the most impact to their field. This often culminates in a publication in a scientific journal.

Benefits of the CC experience?
Despite now living far away from the Rocky Mountains, CC has shaped my life in so many ways! Most importantly, I believe the Block Plan fostered a sense of exploration and inquisitiveness. While I still make sure to get out and explore the backcountry every three and a half weeks (4,000 ft. mountains are the new 14ers, have you heard?), this also applies to my work. Spatial statistics is a relatively new field and applying my diverse liberal arts background helps me solve complex problems every day. Most importantly, in my four years at CC I found friends for life. We are scattered around the globe but are all doing incredible things and when we see each other, it’s like no time has passed.

Impacts of your major?
As a public health scientist, my biology major helps me everyday to understand complex disease transmission and replication pathways. However, I am also incredibly grateful for my liberal arts experience. Not only did my four years at CC strengthen my scientific skills, but I am also able to appreciate and work across disciplines, which is essential to scientific inquiry and research.

Key milestones?
I graduated in May 2016 with a master of public health in environmental health from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and began my Oak Ridge Science and Education (ORISE) Fellowship at the CDC that month.

Future aspirations?
I have future aspirations of obtaining a Ph.D. in environmental health and spatial biostatistics to improve our understanding and predictions of space-time environmental change on emerging diseases. Also, I recently adopted a cattle dog/German Shepard mix named Ranger, who is a perfect real-world, block break buddy!!

July 2016

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Johanna Jensen ’14

Environmental Science Major

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Currently, I work with the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) in Boulder, Colorado, as an environmental field technician (a temporary/seasonal job). NEON’s mission is to enable understanding and forecasting of the impacts of climate change, land use change and invasive species on continental-scale ecology. They accomplish this by providing infrastructure and consistent methodologies to support research at 106 terrestrial and aquatic sites across the U.S.

This is my second season working with NEON. Last year, my primary duties concentrated on field botany in the Colorado alpine tundra and plains. This year, I have been promoted to a lead temporary technician in limnology. Limnology is the study of fresh water ecosystems. My primary duties are sampling Colorado streams for water chemistry, plants, fish, and training new seasonal technicians.

Impact of your major?
My major in Environmental Science gave me the theoretical and practical skills to obtain my position with NEON right out of college. Conducting my own research during a thesis proved to future employers that I was prepared and experienced enough to conduct precise, accurate environmental measurements. I use what I learned in the Environmental Program every single day.

How has CC shaped your current life?
The Block Plan gave me the chance to live the life of an environmental scientist day in and day out. Instead of being distracted by other subjects, I was able to devote my time as if I was already a working scientist. Through this, I understood that I would live an intellectually stimulating and passionate work life.

Additionally, I've continued the mentor-student relationships I had while at CC. Even years after my graduation, the professors and staff in the Environmental Program (as well as the Biology Department) have shown incredible dedication and support to me while I searched for jobs and the next steps in my life.

Key milestones?
This spring, I was accepted into Columbia University's Ph.D. program in ecology, evolution, and environmental biology. My thesis project will integrate laser altimetry (LiDAR), passive spectral, and tree ecophysiological data to link the biophysical structure of one of the world’s largest ecological transition zones — the forest tundra ecotone — to its ecological function. Check out more on this project.

Future aspirations?
In the future, I hope to become a professor in ecology or environmental science. The EV department’s fantastic professors, staff, and students inspire me to continue learning and teaching. Becoming a professor will give me the opportunity to teach and conduct research simultaneously, my ultimate goal.

July 2016

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Taylor Schwabe ’15

Organismal Biology and Ecology Major

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Former OBE Paraprof 2015-16

I am going to be teaching 8th grade science for Denver School of Science and Technology for the 2016-17 academic year.

Benefits of the CC experience?
CC taught me to seize the day, to make use of and squeeze every last minute out of each hour, which pours into all aspects of life: work and play, exercise and free-time. Also, adventures with CC friends will continue without a doubt. Block breaks forever!

Impacts of your major?
Since I majored in biology, I used the knowledge I gained at CC to help with biology courses as a paraprof. Next year, I will continue to use all of the science experience to teach middle school students.

Key milestones?
Getting into dental school, becoming the biology paraprof, and getting diagnosed with late-stage Lyme disease. And I’ll be moving to Denver to teach in August! Although I was accepted to dental school, my aggressive treatment for late-stage Lyme disease is preventing me from attending professional school right now. So I am getting exposure to the world of teaching this coming year.

Future aspirations?
I aspire to eventually find a way to help others, like myself, suffering from chronic illness, perhaps instead of dental school. We’ll see what happens!

July 2016

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Katie Dougherty ’14

Political Science Major

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I work for Mayor Ethan Berkowitz in my hometown of Anchorage, Alaska, in the Office of Economic and Community Development. My work is mostly project-oriented, and I'm currently managing the mayor's food policy initiative, which focuses on the production and provision of local foods, and the Vision Zero campaign, which aims to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries. I'm also enrolled in a master's degree program in public administration with the focus on policy analysis.

Benefits of the CC experience?
I feel fortunate to say that I received a world-class education in political science at CC, and would especially like to thank Juan Lindau, Jenn Sides, Dana Wittmer, and Andrew Price-Smith for their phenomenal work and constant support. Not every political science major is lucky enough to remain in the field after graduation, and I sincerely believe that the quality and diversity of my education at CC — from classes on the Block Plan and participation in the energy, environment, and security project to work as a peer tutor in the Writing Center — has made me a competitive and successful professional.

Impacts of your major?
I went into my education at CC knowing that I wanted to return to Alaska and serve my community. I owe a debt of gratitude to those in the Political Science Department, students and teachers, who supported my journey. My major at CC made my current position in the mayor's office possible, and I absolutely love my job.

Key milestones?
Serving as a congressional staffer for U.S. Senator Mark Begich directly out of college. Being hired on at the mayor's office in 2015. Enrolling in a master's program in 2016.

Future aspirations?
My future aspirations center on continuing to serve the community that raised me. I'd like to stay in the mayor's office for some time, serve as a congressional staffer in the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau, and maybe return to D.C. at some point.

July 2016

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Ada Sochanska ’14

Classics Major

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I’m currently in physician assistant (PA) school at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. It’s in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Benefits of the CC experience?
CC has shaped my current experiences by preparing me for the high-intensity schedule that PA school provides. CC also encouraged me to pursue medicine and allow myself to take in a ‘big picture’ perspective on medicine. What I mean by that is that I realized that medical school isn’t the only option. There are always more opportunities to find what you wish to do but you have to find your place by trying out different components of the field.

Impacts of your major?
My Classics major has helped me immensely to “figure out the puzzle.” Latin is one giant puzzle. When you approach a translation, you have to tackle it from many perspectives to finally find the “big idea” and what the sentence is saying. With medicine you have multiple symptoms and signs that will affect your differentials (or your potential diagnosis). To be able to organize the multitude of symptoms and signs into categories that match differentials is exactly what the Classics major provided me the ability to do.

Key milestones?
One milestone is being elected class president of my physician assistant class. However, the closest thing to my heart was moving to Utah and being able to help bring SOS Outreach Program to Park City, Utah. SOS Outreach is a youth development non-profit that engages at-risk youth with outdoor sports and long-term mentor based relationships. We had the first program run this year with over 40 students who got to either ski or snowboard for the first time.

Future Aspirations?
I’m hoping to finish school and work as a physician assistant. Once established, I’ll be working towards my master’s in public health to be able to head research projects.

July 2016

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Emma Schiestl ’15

Philosophy and Psychology Double Major

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I just finished a yearlong fellowship through the CC Public Interest Fellowship Program at a small nonprofit in Colorado Springs called Innovations in Aging Collaborative. We're a catalytic organization that finds the best practices in aging from around the country, brings those innovative programs to Colorado Springs, launches them, and then passes them along to other organizations that can then maintain them once they have been stabilized and are functioning to their full potential. In addition, we launched Age-Friendly Colorado Springs in March. Through the age-friendly process we assess the needs of older adults in our community in eight different domains of livability including housing, transportation, outdoor spaces, social participation, community health, respect and inclusion, communication and information, and civic participation. Once the gaps in age-friendliness have been discovered, we create a comprehensive action plan with three to five goals in each area in order to improve the quality of life for older adults in our community.

Benefits of the CC experience?
The CC curriculum in general really impacts a student's ability to be a sharp communicator. Having lived in Colorado Springs for four years at CC and then living in the actual Colorado Springs community for the last year, I think I benefited from getting to experience one city from two different lenses: as a student and as a "townie." There is an odd dynamic that occurs when you only get to experience one of those perspectives. For example, students come into Colorado Springs with the assumption that the community is very conservative and that, aside from outdoor experiences, the city doesn't have much to offer in terms of recreation. Alternatively, community members from Colorado Springs, especially those who live and work in the downtown area, have a general resentment for CC students believing that the majority of us are highly privileged and going to wanderlust school to study subjects that are in no way useful to having a successful future (here's looking at you, philosophy). This misunderstanding prevents students and the Colorado Springs community from ever interacting in a meaningful way to reset those assumptions. It's from experiencing these two perspectives that I've come to realize that there is so much more CC could do to get their students involved in the immediate community.

Key milestones?
I was accepted to graduate school for clinical psychology at the University of Michigan. I only have to sell my soul for five years in order to be called Dr. Schiestl.

Future aspirations?
A: Successfully complete my doctorate without losing my mind. B: Pursue an academic career in psychology and continue to study food addiction as a substance-use disorder. I think the acceptance of highly palatable foods having the same addictive qualities as other drugs could have significant implications on public policy and health outcomes.

July 2016

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Jacob Kirksey ’15

Economics and Education Double Major

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Currently, I am a Ph.D. student, studying education policy at the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at UC Santa Barbara. I am working on research projects related to absenteeism, suspension rates, and special education policy. My research interests include peer effects in early education and preparation of students with disabilities to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Benefits of the CC experience?
Above all else, the Colorado College faculty pushed me to think outside the box, consider various perspectives, and never be afraid to have an unpopular opinion. These are crucial skills to have while pursuing an academic career, and having these assets allow me to articulate an intelligent and logically sound argument in daily conversation and in my research.

Impacts of your majors?
My majors (both in economics and education) blend nicely to give me a unique lens through which to view educational issues. While the robust methodology inherent in the field of economics is crucial for understanding the real impact of education policy, my education classes are what originally prompted my interest in research and crafting a better system to benefit underrepresented students.

Key milestones?
Indeed! I have actually been published in a high-impact journal (Early Childhood Research Quarterly). I have also written five other papers that are out for review right now.

I presented my research at five conferences this last year, including the American Educational Research Association and the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. These venues provide a great opportunity to share my research with prominent scholars and educational researchers.

I was awarded a block grant fellowship from the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education for the second year in a row. And finally, I was also given the Honorable Mention distinction from the National Science Foundation's Graduate Student Research Fellowship Program, a renowned fellowship program that recognizes the most outstanding graduate students contributing to STEM fields or STEM education.

Future aspirations?
My goal is to become a professor at a top research university. I would also like to start a center within my future department that dedicates its research to shaping pathways for students and adults with disabilities to pursue STEM education and careers.

July 2016

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Krithika Vichali ’15

English Major

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I'm doing freelance writing and editing for media companies before starting school again in the fall.

Benefits of the CC experience?
CC's helped me hone my writing skills a lot, making me great with deadline-driven work. So, right now, that's helpful. Also, CC is absolutely crucial to my graduate school acceptance, especially the English Department.

Impacts of your major?
I was an English major, art history minor, which ended up being extremely relevant to my first job as a copywriter for an advertising firm because I worked with copy as well as the art when handling clients, then also as a writer now for media companies. I'll also be going to school in the fall for a Ph.D. in English literature, so that ended up being very topical too.

Future aspirations?
Aspirations are a little hard to come by at the moment. I just hope to do okay in my grad program.

July 2016

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Kaleb Roush ’14

Biochemistry Major

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I’ve wrapped up my job in the energy industry in Denver recently and am in the process of moving to New York to begin a master’s program at Cornell University in mechanical engineering, specializing in energy.

Benefits of the CC experience?
CC has shaped my life in more ways than I can describe here. One thing I will truly miss when I move will be the friends that I have had such easy access to in Denver. The last few years have flown by as we all learned “to adult" and I have truly appreciated the support and love of my CC family. They are best friends that I’ll never lose. In the professional world, the demands of the Block Plan taught me to adapt and engage change quickly. CC forced me to develop innovative solutions to problems, understand the finer points of an issue in its larger context, and tackle tasks in an incredibly efficient manner, all skills that have proved invaluable.

Impacts of your major?
My major taught me to think critically and analytically in more elaborate ways than I knew possible, but also challenged me to grapple with problems that didn’t necessarily have answers yet. The research experiences I undertook at CC have been indispensable and, I’ve now realized, provided a space for me to explore my inner engineer, which I will be dedicating my next year to at Cornell. At CC, I was allowed the opportunity to research, create, and test something of my own design, endeavoring to see how changing or testing one small detail impacted the bigger picture of an organism or physical process.

Key milestones?
My key milestones were landing my first job in Denver, learning how to be me absent of my family or CC’s bubble, and accepting my offer of admission to Cornell’s master of engineering program.

Future aspirations?
I’ve learned to take life one step at a time, but my goal is to become a leader in the work force and in the energy industry. Obtaining an undergraduate liberal arts degree taught me to view my field of study in a wider context so that I can not only communicate with people in other disciplines but also forge connections with them. Leadership within the energy industry requires this ability to communicate with others from many other industries. Now is an exciting time to take a role in the dynamic, controversial conversation and ongoing innovation within the energy sector.

July 2016

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Hallie Comfort ’14

Biochemistry Major

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I am in a bit of a transition right now. I just finished working in the Han Lab at CU-Boulder as a research assistant for two years. The Han Lab is a genetics laboratory that works with the model organism C. elegans. This fall I will be starting graduate school at the University of Minnesota, working toward a Ph.D. in pharmacology.

Benefits of the CC experience?
Learning on the Block Plan has taught me to work quickly and efficiently. I use this everyday in the lab. It’s helped me stay organized and get a lot done in a short amount of time. CC also increased my love for learning and motivated me to pursue a graduate degree. It’s also taught me to think more critically, in both science and social issues.

Impacts of your major?
I use my major everyday. Even if it's not the specific concepts that I learned in class, I had some great professors who taught me how to do good science. Everyday I need to think critically and problem solve. I am confident in myself because of what I was taught at CC.

Key milestones?
I got accepted into graduate school and I am very excited to start this fall!

Future aspirations?
After I finish graduate school, I would love to work in the pharmaceutical industry. My interest in drug development started when I took Professor Amy Dounay's course on medicinal chemistry and the pharmaceutical industry. I highly recommend it!

July 2016

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Jedediah Doane ’14

Biology Major

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I live in Salt Lake City with my girlfriend Chrissy Maruyama, also a CC ’14 grad. I just finished my postgrad job as a laboratory technician at the Huntsman Cancer Institute two weeks ago, and I’m currently traveling in Europe and Asia with some of my CC classmates before starting medical school in August.

Benefits of the CC experience?
My CC experience was definitely transformational. After graduation I’ve found myself as a more active citizen of the world, and I’ve been learning more about how to translate the values I gained at CC into real-world tangible results. One major example is sustainability: Since graduating, I’ve realized both how far ahead of the curve CC is and that many municipalities, businesses, and universities have work to do.

Impacts of your major?
My experience as an OEE major (organisms, evolution, and ecology track of the biology major, now called OBE: organismal biology and ecology) has definitely provided me with a unique perspective compared to many of my medical school classmates, especially when it comes to my interest in the relationship between ecosystems and human health. I’m especially interested in how climate change affects infectious diseases and their vector organisms, and a strong background in evolutionary biology has definitely been essential to that passion.

Key milestones?
Studying for and taking the MCAT and going through the medical school application process were major milestones. My research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute has been steadily progressing as well. We’re learning new things about how gene expression is regulated and that’s pretty exciting! Our group has a publication currently under review at a great journal, and we have another project that is wrapping up as well. Contributing to the scientific record has always been a goal of mine, so these are exciting times in that department.

Another milestone has been all the exploring I’ve been able to do. I was a finalist for the Watson Fellowship, and was pretty devastated when I wasn’t selected. My late mentor, biology professor, and great friend Tass Kelso encouraged me to seek out my own version. I backpacked in Central America, spent more time in the mountains, rivers, and deserts than ever before, and am now learning a lot while traveling around the world on a shoestring budget.

Future aspirations?
We’ll see how medical school goes! Hopefully I’ll learn a lot, work hard, have fun, and put my CC lessons to good use.

July 2016

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Marina Long ’14

Philosophy Major

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I'm working as a software engineer for a government contractor based in Dallas, TX, doing primarily iOS development.

How has CC shaped your current life?
In a word: enormously. The Block Plan honed my ability to learn quickly; that has proved to be absolutely central to my work and life. Over the past year, in particular, I have reflected a great deal on CC and how the Block Plan has helped in learning Spanish and computer programming by immersion (the former as I travelled for a few months through Peru, Chile, and Argentina; the latter I have been doing over the past six months since I returned to the country this past January).

Impacts of your major?
As a philosophy major, I think I tie my major to pretty much everything I do. I am a chronic introspector (is that a word…?). In all seriousness though, in many ways coding is very similar to philosophical logic, so my academic history bears a surprisingly significant precedent in my present career. Besides that immediate comparison, I think studying philosophy encouraged me to analyze my work and life in a critical way, which has definitely empowered me to embark on whatever interests me and trust that I have the analytical tools to learn anything I put work into.

Future aspirations?
I intend to get my master's degree in the next few years, but as of now, I'm living in my hometown of Boston with my Great Dane puppy and enjoying every minute of it.

July 2016

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Jo Lingenfelter ’15

Italian Major

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Currently, I work part-time as a one-on-one aid in an after-school program with a 6 1/2 year-old, nonverbal boy with autism. It's definitely not the type of work that I ever envisioned myself doing, but I love the kid, and it's been incredible to be part of his progress in this past year.

Key milestones?
I worked at The English Camp Company last summer in Italy, which was a great experience. The English Camp Company coordinates two-week long English immersion day camps in small cities throughout the entire country. All of the tutors are only English speaking and the students are Italian speaking (and a bit of English they have learned in school). My job was to oversee the teachers and help with communication difficulties between the kids and their tutors. I also worked with the parents to resolve issues with the camp and was responsible for finding places in each of the cities to buy all of the supplies (very difficult in rural cities with very specialized stores like they have in Europe. Where does one go to get something like water balloons? I spent a lot of time aimlessly walking and coming back to find my camp in chaos because the tutors couldn't understand what the students were asking/doing). All of the tutors and directors were hosted by the families of kids who were attending the camps, so my job was also to communicate with them and help when cultural misunderstandings arose between tutors and their host families. The tutors and directors were randomly assigned to camps, so we had new groups in new cities every two weeks.

I've also had an incredible amount of failure job-wise that has been hard to swallow but also very humbling. I am glad for the things that I've learned because of it (though the memories are still quite painful).

Benefits of the CC experience?
I think the most important things I have taken from CC are an incredible amount of focus and a commitment to find ways to spend my time doing things that I'm excited about. It's awesome to spend 3 1/2 weeks doing something you love, and so incredibly hard to put that same amount of time and effort into things that you really don't like or even dread. I know that I won't absolutely love everything that I do or have to do in my career/life, but I know that I am so much happier when I do, and I will definitely put a lot of effort into weighting my life that way. Experiencing the extremes of blocks that I loved at CC and then blocks that I really didn't helped me realize how important that is to me.

Future aspirations?
I don't plan to stay in a special education classroom forever and I’ve been taking a bootcamp course to learn iOS development alongside my work. My current goal is to get into app design for kids with special needs. I don't know when or how, but I've already got a few apps drawn out, and I'm excited to start working on them soon.

Impacts of your major?
Italian is not a particularly useful language in the United States, so my major does not play such a huge role in what I do on a day-to-day basis (I do read for fun in Italian and still frequently dream in Italian, which is kind of fun and sometimes confusing when I wake up and hear English). That being said, the things that I learned during my time studying and working abroad have definitely shaped me a lot. It keeps me thinking all the time about what sector and geographical location I fit best into to do some sort of good for the world, however big or small that thing might be. While seemingly random and useless, Italian was an adventure that I'm glad I took. I'm happy for the things that I got to do and the people that I got to meet because of it.

July 2016

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Colter Fatt ’14

Computer Science Major

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Former Computer Science Paraprof (2014-2015)
Software developer for ActiveGiver, a startup in Seattle

I work for a small startup called ActiveGiver that is trying to change politics in the U.S. by focusing on causes rather than candidates and making it easier to give money to candidates that support causes you believe in. My main role is to build and maintain the tools on ActiveGiver's website, but because it’s a startup, I am also involved in strategic, marketing, and content discussion.

Key milestones?
The choice to move out to Seattle was a big milestone. I didn't have a job lined up and I didn't really know anyone in the city either.

Benefits of the CC experience?
CC encouraged me to try new things and meet new people. I also learned most of my technical skills and developed my critical thinking and problem-solving skills during my time at CC.

Future aspirations?
I plan to continue working in software development, and I hope that the company I'm working for does well. For me, coding lets me think critically and problem solve. It keeps me engaged and I enjoy it. What sets my job at ActiveGiver apart from another developer job is the company. I get to work on a small team, so my code has a direct and immediate impact on the product, something I wouldn’t experience at a large company. The culture of the company is direct and low pressure — everyone has their job and does it. And, my coworkers are all people who I want to be around, who come back from the weekends with great stories. Finally, the mission of the company is something that I believe in, and makes me feel like I'm creating positive change in the U.S.

July 2016

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Kevin Dorff ’14

Theatre Major

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I'm working full-time at a restaurant right now, saving money until I can move back to Chicago or another theater hub. I'm currently conducting historical research for a new play Professor Idris Goodwin is writing about these survey teams the federal government dispatched to determine the best route for the transcontinental railroad.

Benefits of the CC experience?
Besides the research project and my shifts at the restaurant, I have a fair amount of free time to read, though I'm still a remarkably slow reader. I think that if I hadn't taken the courses I took and if I hadn't met the students and professors I met at CC, I'd still be blind to the pleasures and rewards of reading and writing. CC opened more avenues of thought for me to pursue in each.

Key milestones?
After graduating, I moved to Chicago and worked for a year at a theater company that specializes in new play development and devised documentary theater work. It was a pretty hands-on apprenticeship. I worked primarily on a new documentary play called "The Project(s)," first as a transcriber of interviews and compiler of research for actors, then as an assistant director. The Chicago Tribune gave the production a four-star review and named it the best Chicago production of 2015!

July 2016

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Kenzie Mulligan-Buckmiller ’15

Molecular Biology Major

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I am currently working as the health education specialist in the Wellness Resource Center at CC.

Benefits of the CC experience?
My life is very much influenced by my time at CC. I graduated with my best friends, started to work at the place I love and with people that I love, and get to give back to the school that gave me so much. Without CC I wouldn't have any of that, and so it seems fair to say that it has shaped almost every part of my life.

Impacts of your major?
I graduated with a Molecular Biology major and Chemistry/Feminist and Gender Studies double minor and while they are not super applicable to what I am doing now, I hope and plan to use them in the future! The Feminist and Gender Studies minor has definitely changed my perspective and I use the knowledge I received from those classes every day.

Key milestones and future aspirations?
I recently completed the Firefighter 1 Academy through Manitou Springs Fire Department and got my state FF1 certification, which I am very excited about! I am training for both the written and physical tests with hopes to join Colorado Springs Fire Department.

July 2016

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Kangmin Kim ’15

Chemistry Major

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I am attending a PhD program at CU-Boulder, doing computational chemistry under Professor Charles Musgrave and photochemistry under Professor Jeff Stansbury.

Benefits of the CC experience?
CC shaped me in a profound way. Academically, CC and Professor Amy Dounay provided me with research experiences that helped me transition to grad school with ease. Additionally, CC gifted me a sense of balance between work and life, along with a love and pursuit of the outdoors that keep me healthy and passionate in every facet of a grad student life.

Impacts of your major?
I majored in chemistry at CC and fell in love with the interesting problems that chemistry can solve. So I decided to go to a grad school to practice and learn more about this fascinating subject.

Key milestones?
I became a vegan, if that counts.

Future aspirations?
I aspire to complete an Ironman in New Zealand.

July 2016

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Elliot Mamet ’15

Political Science Major, Social and Political Philosophy Minor

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After graduation, I completed a Humanity in Action Fellowship studying anti-Semitism in Warsaw, Poland. Then, I began a position as program associate at the American Political Science Association (APSA) in Washington, D.C., where I work now. I work on the government relations, public engagement, and congressional fellowship program portfolios at APSA. I am leaving my current post in early August to begin a Ph.D. in political philosophy at Duke University.

How has CC shaped your current life?
At CC, I encountered a group of friends, teachers, and mentors whose thoughtfulness and kindness reminded me that the chief virtue of a liberal education is deep and sustained exposure to discrete voices in a conversation. I feel like the luckiest person in the world to be educated at a place like CC, a place committed to free inquiry and to liberal learning — the pursuit of truth.

My own intellectual adventure at CC was a series of finite moments: nodding during the crescendo of a lecture, basking in the splendor of ancient dialogues, dancing to bluegrass in the balcony of Packard Hall. Added up, these moments remind me that liberal learning can occur whenever one encounters a beautiful poem, or sees a thoughtful film, or hears an old song afresh. CC shapes my current life by reminding me to see beauty in the mundane, for the habit of liberal learning is larger than the place of liberal education.

Impacts of your major?
Political Science has had an enormous impact on my life. I work for the largest political science professional organization, so I think about political science each day, and I am about to embark on graduate training to become a political scientist. As Professor Dana Wittmer has noted before, political science is an especially interdisciplinary field, and as someone with a wide range of academic interests, I love the discipline in part because of its breadth.

Key milestones?
Since graduation I have had many milestones, such as moving to a city far away from home and holding my first full-time job.

Future aspirations?
After graduate school, my professional goal is to return to teach political science and political philosophy at a liberal arts college.

July 2016

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Jesse Paul ’14

English Major, Creative Writing Track

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I'm a reporter at The Denver Post where I've worked since June 2014. I started a few weeks after graduating.

How has CC shaped your current life?
Working as a reporter covering a wide range of subjects, I often find myself needing to learn the intricacies of a topic very quickly. I think the Block Plan definitely helped shape me into a fast and focused learner. I also think a lot of the curiosity I have for Colorado and the Southwest was formed at CC.

Outside of work, CC is what drew me to Colorado in the first place and helped refine my love for the state and the mountains. Most of the people I spend my time with in Denver are CC grads and our alumni network here makes me feel at home.

Impacts of your major?
Once I realized I wanted to be a journalist, I knew my writing had to improve significantly. I chose my major hoping to hone my skills and improve upon my storytelling. I try to channel Professor Steve Hayward's advice into each article I write. I can still hear him talking in my ear!

Key milestones?
I've won a few regional journalism awards, but my personal milestones have definitely been a few particular stories and the places my job has taken me. A memorable trip was driving around southwest Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona in the summer of 2015 while covering the effects of the Gold King Mine spill. My travels took me to the Navajo Nation for a few days, which was a really impactful experience.

Future aspirations?
Moving forward I want to keep trying to make Coloradans lives better by reporting on the important stories happening here. The state's rapid change is fascinating.

July 2016

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Wes Braver ’14

Music Major

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I am entering my second year of grad school at NYU Tisch studying musical theatre writing. I'm also the resident composer for a dance company in Brooklyn also founded by CC alumni. Before grad school, I had a year back at home in D.C. where I taught and played as a rehearsal pianist and music director for local theatre productions, while working on my own compositions.

Benefits of the CC experience?
While I don't want to rehash the same talking point about the Block Plan preparing you for how stuff in life works, I have definitely found it to be true. For the kind of gigs I end up getting there is so much fast turnaround that needs to happen — I'll get a score and have to get it under my fingers before a rehearsal I'm subbing for the next day, or I'll get the final cut of a film I'm writing music for, and it will be accepted by the end of the week. And grad school is just ‘fourth week’ every week.

Impacts of your major?
My music major obviously gave me a lot of the foundational skills I need for my day-to-day life — theory, piano chops, etc. But for me, it's the liberal arts aspect of the major that made me understand how and why artists do what they do. Maybe it's just because I have a mind geared more for the social sciences than the mathematical ones, but I remember vividly the conversations I had in my CC music class about George Gershwin, with Professor Ryan Bañagale, but I can't for the life of me remember anything from my counterpoint classes. But that Gershwin stuff informs so much of my understanding of the art form that I'm engaged in.

Also, what I did outside the major is so huge and important to me; a lot of my friends in grad school went to conservatories or music schools that were a more technical education. I dunno, they're all more skilled than I am, and they know a lot of Bach. Bach's the man, but I look at my industry and see ‘Hamilton’ taking over Broadway, and many of my peers in musical theatre are just so, so far away from rap. I feel so lucky that I got to take hip hop theatre classes with Idris Goodwin and I got to go see and participate in the Black Student Union slams. And that's just one example of how something broader and more diverse was woven into my CC education. I'm so thankful for that — I think it's an advantage and an enrichment in my life.

Key milestones?
I wrote and released my first album, ‘Metadata,’ an electronic concept piece about Edward Snowden (shameless plug: go check it out at wesbraver.bandcamp.com, also on iTunes and Spotify!).

Future aspirations?
My future aspirations are for a show I am composing for with the Fooju Dance Collaborative (foojudance.com), my thesis musical for next year, and I'm hoping soon to produce a song cycle I wrote this year called ‘Space Cases,’ which is about the unsung heroes of the space age.

July 2016

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Robin Hinson ’15

Music Major

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I'm currently living in Colorado Springs with some of my best friends from CC who also graduated in 2015. I'm doing case management and travel for a top surrogacy agency (providing gestational surrogate matching services for intending parents) and law firm that's based in the East Coast. It's been a perfect first job and I'm learning a lot about who I want to be (and how I want to be perceived) professionally.

Benefits of the CC experience?
The Block Plan is forever a reminder of how much I can conquer in a short period of time. In the real world, time frames for projects can be weeks or even months. But if I can respond to a bunch of emails or tasks within a few hours, that really surprises people. Quick response times are impressive and invaluable in the work world. It shows a lot of respect for what you're doing and who you're working with.

Impacts of your major?
My music major doesn't directly relate to what I do professionally, but I'm still singing on the side. Life and work is a performance in so many ways, so I wouldn't change my major for anything.

Key milestones?
A key milestone since graduating is that I finished a 6-month dresser refurbishing project that I'm really proud of. I wanted to do something completely new to me and create something I would interact with every day. Another exciting realization and milestone is that I love myself and I love Colorado. I travel often for work in the U.S. and there really is no better place to live.

Future aspirations?
Now that I've taken a year to work and recuperate from school (and the Block Plan), I'd like to explore newer hobbies like tennis, scuba, calligraphy, and other random art projects.

July 2016

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Tara Hatfield ’15

Music and Biology Double Major

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I am currently earning my M.A. in musicology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before returning to school, I worked briefly for an environmental consulting company doing research on predation of desert tortoises by ravens in the Mojave Desert. When not attending school, I try to travel as frequently as possible, both within and outside of the United States. Recently, I've been traveling to Indonesia annually.

Benefits of the CC experience?
CC provided me with a well-rounded education that has allowed me to explore the interdisciplinarity of all aspects of academia and life. This is primarily emerging in my current life through research on music — the people who create, listen to, produce, or are otherwise involved with music and their potential impact on environmental conservation, as well as the more general relationship between the "natural" world and music itself. Outside of the intellectual legacy of CC, the school provided me with a network of faculty, friends, and places that will forever hold a significant place in my memories and an ongoing role in my life. The impact of playing in CC's Gamelan Tunjung Sari and the community that I became a part of through this experience has been endless. I can't even begin to list all of the ways in which this group has influenced my educational and personal life, but I am forever grateful for the opportunity to participate in this group at CC.

Impacts of your majors?
As a double major at CC, I was exposed to a variety of people and ideas from across campus. While my more recent endeavors have perhaps drawn more directly on my background as a music major, the knowledge and experiences gained through my courses in biology have not been forgotten and contribute to my understanding of people (and possibly other living things) as biological and cultural beings at the root of musical creation. Deciding which degree to pursue in graduate school was extremely challenging for me and I do not intend to ever stop learning about, and hopefully contributing to, new developments in the biological and musical realms of knowledge. As mentioned above, probably the greatest takeaway from CC for me is the need for interdisciplinary cooperation, particularly as we face an environmental crisis that is threatening the survival of not only humans, but also other living beings and potentially entire ecosystems.

Key milestones?
Just starting graduate school.

Future aspirations?
I hope to someday have a career that I enjoy and the ability to keep on traveling and spending plenty of time outdoors.

July 2016

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Jeffrey Sperry ’15

Neuroscience Major

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I am living in Salt Lake City, where I will be attending the University of Utah for graduate school starting this fall. I am also working at a medical clinic through the University of Utah hospital system.

Benefits of the CC experience?
CC provided me with a solid career direction, but perhaps even more so, I think my education has lent a great deal of value to my day-to-day life. It's just the little things —something a professor said, a particular class discussion we had, the people you meet — that stick with you for one reason or another and they really do enrich your life.

Impacts of your major?
What led me down this particular path to graduate school was Professor Lori Driscoll’s neuropharmacology class. I really enjoyed it, I fell in love with pharmacology, and now I will be studying it far more in depth.

Key milestones?
I was able to find full-time work right after I graduated, spent the next year applying to graduate school, was accepted and moved to Salt Lake City, and landed an internship at University of Utah Healthcare.

Future aspirations?
The future is all still quite vague — graduate, get my doctorate, start a career specializing in maybe critical care, neuroscience, or cardiology... who knows? It'll probably change.

July 2016

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Anna Kisken ’15

Psychology Major

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I am living and working in Fairbanks, Alaska, where I was born. I work for the day habilitation center of a nonprofit organization called Fairbanks Resource Agency. The organization’s aim is to help individuals with developmental disabilities achieve their highest potentials where they live, work, and learn. Currently, I am one of three activity specialists there, which means that I plan, organize, and implement various group activities related to physical, emotional, and mental health, cooking, money skills, basic life skills, social skills, etc. It’s pretty amazing. I am also getting married to a lovely man next weekend, and then we are moving to Missoula, Montana in August where I will pursue a master's degree in school psychology.

Benefits of the CC experience?
CC has definitely helped me be more flexible in my thinking, which is great for my job because you have to think on your feet every single day when plans don't work out the way they are supposed to or when someone has a blow-up. The rigorous quality of life at CC has helped me take challenges in stride and has helped me to think outside of the box in all aspects of life right now.

Impacts of your major?
My major does not have a huge impact on what I’m doing right now, mostly because I don't do much involving psychology at work. That being said and perhaps because I am a bit biased, I believe that psychology is what makes the world turn. So I believe my major has informed my interactions with the world, broadly speaking.

Key milestones?
Getting engaged (and almost being married!) and getting accepted to graduate school. Adulting is happening all at once!

Future aspirations?
Future aspirations involve moving to coastal Alaska and working as a school psychologist in an elementary school. I hope to eventually become a certified animal-assisted therapist, and to help bridge the gap between animal-assisted therapy and school psychology. I would love to train miniature horses to be therapy animals in schools so that they could help children with degenerative diseases or special needs meet their best potential in educational settings.

July 2016

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Davis Tutt ’15

Art History Major

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I am currently a second-year fellow at El Pomar Foundation, a Colorado nonprofit organization that works toward enhancing, encouraging, and promoting the current and future well-being of the people of Colorado. As a fellow, I work on the internship team, the Forum for Civic Advancement, the Western Legislative Summit, the Wildland Fire Fund, Awards for Excellence, and the 2016 American Council of Young Political Leaders Delegation, in addition to working in the Central Peaks and Pikes Peak regions. I am also the resident photographer for the foundation.

Benefits of the CC experience?
While I was born and raised in Colorado Springs, the connections I made at CC, both professionally and socially, have had a dramatic impact on my life. Because of my work with administrative officials during my time at CC, such as Dean Edmonds and President Tiefenthaler, I now have a wealth of mentors to reference in times of need. I frequently consult them regarding my career and have even brought Dean Edmonds to El Pomar to teach a public speaking class to the summer interns.

Impacts of your major?
My major had a profound impact on my advancement as a professional individual. While I frequently use my art history knowledge when touring guests around the vast art collection of El Pomar, it was the writing and speaking skills that I developed while composing my thesis and giving countless presentations that really affect my position today. The knowledge and guidance of the Art Department staff was instrumental in allowing me to grow into a highly competent individual in the workplace.

Key milestones?
I became a board member at the El Pomar Youth Sports Park, was featured as the May monthly lecturer at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum where I gave a presentation on the lasting legacy of the Penrose-Tutt partnership, and I was asked by the U.S. Olympic Committee to serve as a VIP coordinator in Rio at the Paralympics.

Future aspirations?
I hope to attend business school after my fellowship at El Pomar and eventually find my way back to the nonprofit/foundation sector or public policy.

July 2016

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Maia Wikler ’15

Anthropology Major

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Right now I am an organizer for the climate conference Uplift, which will be taking place in Durango, Colorado, at the end of the summer. We have been working on it since last November! Here is an excerpt from our mission: “We believe conservation needs young voices, more diversity, and a new focus on climate justice... We seek to empower and unite young leaders to address climate change on the Colorado Plateau.”

Key milestones?
One of my most proud accomplishments since graduation has been developing the native youth program in preservation for the government’s Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. With inspiration from the teachings of the Collaborative for Community Engagement and Anthropology, I created a 25-page comprehensive report on why historic preservation is critical for native youth in this country and I created different programming initiatives to address native youth concerns and needs. I presented my report to various White House council working groups and received incredible support and positive feedback. The report and program is moving forward as a facet of the White House initiative, Generation Indigenous. I also developed recommendations for integrating into the native youth program the articles in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples that relate to youth. I was really proud of being able to cast some light upon that important connection of preservation for native youth in the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples.

Impacts of your major?
I think both the anthropology major and my involvement in the Community Engaged Leadership Certification program with the Collaborative for Community Engagement has completely shaped the way I think and engage on different issues and how I conceptualize potential solutions.

Benefits of the CC experience?
CC has hugely shaped my life because I believe in myself, I can think critically, and I know myself— those are I think some of the most valuable takeaways from a college experience that will continue to guide my path moving forward. I learned to believe in myself from the incredible support the CC community gave me to see my dreams and visions come to fruition. I have a strong sense of self from countless backpacking trips, field excursions to Baca, the US-Mexico Border, and all throughout the Colorado region— I can think critically from the incredible classes and inspiring professors who have encouraged students to question, to wonder, and to delve into discovering.

Future aspirations?
I hope to continue learning from the insights of anthropological research and theory and apply it socially through different mediums of community engagement. I will be heading out to Vancouver in the fall for a master’s in anthropology at the University of British Columbia. I will be continuing my thesis research on cross-cultural communication and civic skills for indigenous and environmental rights movements.

July 2016

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Brooke Stemple ’15

Sociology Major

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Works for Alpine Autism as a therapist.

Can you talk about how Colorado College has helped you with your career?
My job involves working one-on-one with autistic clients aged 4-21, and I teach them academics and life skills through applied behavioral analysis. Stress from work is much more manageable for me—the rigorous coursework and multitude of activities at Colorado College helped because multitasking while keeping a level head is a big part of my job. Having to balance my classwork, projects, and hobbies taught me how to accomplish a lot of different things at once without overloading myself physically and emotionally.

I think being a sociology major helped me to be able to identify issues in the workplace. This makes me an asset to potential employers because I tend to notice things that most people don’t. Sociology has been applicable to every job I’ve applied for—the skills I gained from my classes allow me to see the bigger picture, and how it relates to people I interact with on a daily basis.

What are some other key events that have happened to you since graduation?
I’m currently saving to buy a house in Colorado Springs. I know that it’s uncommon for a 22-year-old graduate to be making that big of a step, but I think it represents how Colorado College has given me the ability to act on those sorts of aspirations regardless of age.

If you had to summarize the overall benefits of the Colorado College experience to a prospective student, what would you say?
Colorado College has helped me to become more independent. This has been vital in figuring out what I want to do with myself, and it has made me realize that I am completely capable of taking the next step in life. The school has also taught me patience, especially while moving through various jobs. I learned to apply myself, giving a lot of my energy and effort into putting myself out there.

I look back on my time at Colorado College fondly, and I’m currently happy with where I’m at because of my experience from this school. Now, I feel prepared to take on anything.

July 2016

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Alex McDonald ’15

French Major, Education Minor

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Attending Georgia State University

Can you talk about how Colorado College has helped you out throughout graduate school?
I am at Georgia State University, working on an M.A. in French with a concentration in Applied Linguistics and Pedagogy, and I am also working on getting teacher certification. Colorado College definitely prepared me to think and write in an academic and critical manner. I felt like I was more prepared and confident in my abilities to succeed in graduate-level classes than some other students in those same classes.

Has Colorado College helped you in the real world? How so?
I am definitely more prepared to do things at a fast pace. I am currently in summer classes, which take place over seven weeks, and I am more comfortable with the pace than many of my classmates.

If you had to summarize the overall benefits of the Colorado College experience to a prospective student, what would you say?
The real world is such a relative concept, and I think that people at CC know that. So I felt like it prepared me for what the "real-world" would mean for me, which is a fast-paced, globally minded one. For other people, they needed other things, so they participated in academic, professional, and personal life in different ways, and prepared themselves for different "real worlds." I think that having that flexibility is important, because I know that as much as I am prepared for the life of academia, it will be different than the life I will have even two years from now. I also think I will be prepared for it, because I was challenged to be flexible in my goals and how I achieved them, and because I was offered many different ways to prepare.

July 2016

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Allison Weibel ’14

History/Political Science and Spanish Major

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Middle School English as a New Language Teacher, and Fulbright Awardee

Can you talk about how Colorado College has helped you throughout your life post-graduation?
In the winter of my senior year, I was selected to be a corps member for Teach For America in the Indianapolis region. Despite the incessant critique of the organization and my hesitation to leave the mountains, I decided to pursue the path of education.

Based on my coursework at Colorado College, I decided that my long-term career goals were to work within education policy. However, being a politically and socially engaged person on a campus such as Colorado College, I quickly understood that a person should not impact or determine the policy for a field they have not worked in. I needed to teach and know the student and educator's experience before I could move forward. Thus, I began my TFA journey of teaching full time and taking classes toward a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT).

Two years later, I have my MAT, teaching endorsements in both Spanish and ENL (English as a new language), and a completely new understanding of education in America. I am excited to continue to work in education at my current school until I leave for Argentina as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in early 2017.

Has Colorado College helped you in the real world? How so?
The education that I obtained at Colorado College was instrumental to my success as a TFA corps member, graduate student, and Fulbright applicant. My ability to time manage and trudge through an insanely busy schedule was strengthened by the block plan. Moreover, the individualized attention I received from small classes with world-class professors not only gave me great knowledge, but also superior verbal and written communication skills. To this day I credit Colorado College for all of my successes because it truly was a transformational experience for me.

If you had to summarize the overall benefits of the Colorado College experience to a prospective student, what would you say?
Ultimately, the benefits of attending Colorado College are innumerable. Colorado College is a place that educates and enriches a person, and it’s where opportunity is constantly knocking. If you let it, Colorado College will make you a more mindful, competent, productive, adventurous, and considerate person. There is no part of me that was not touched by the community at Colorado College.

July 2016

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Andrew Campbell ’14

Music Major

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Can you talk about how Colorado College has helped you out throughout graduate school?
I’m currently applying to medical school, and I’m taking the MCAT in a couple of days. The Block Plan certainly helped prepare me for the rigors of my post-baccalaureate program where I finished all of my medical school prerequisites in under a year. The five-week long summer chemistry courses at University of Colorado were a breeze compared to some of the upper-level music theory courses I took as an undergraduate.

Can you talk about how Colorado College has helped you with your work?
After graduation, I was hired to work with future nurses who needed help finding programs to fit their time and budget. Like me, they answered the call to become healthcare professionals after working in different fields. I felt inspired by my classmates — especially by the tremendous work they’re doing for nonprofits and community outreach — to pursue a career in service to others. I think CC cultivates that type of mindset.

What are some other key events that have happened to you since graduation?
Since college, I’ve performed with several bands and ensembles in the Denver/Boulder area. I still practice piano every day. I love telling people how often I use my music degree even though I’m not pursuing it professionally.

Has Colorado College helped you in the real world?
Colorado College has given me work ethic, counsel from my advisors and former professors, friendships, and letters of recommendation. It’s hard to think of something in my personal and professional life that CC hasn’t affected in a positive way.

If you had to summarize the overall benefits of the Colorado College experience to a prospective student, what would you say?
Colorado College offers resources that stem from individualized guidance and small class sizes. Whether you’re a future scientist or an aspiring artist, CC rewards students whose ambitions reach beyond their undergraduate education. As long as you’re prepared to challenge yourself, CC will help you grow into a lifelong learner and leader.

July 2016

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Ann Stimson ’15

Sociology Major

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Works as an executive assistant at the California Cloth Foundry

Have you gotten a job since graduation?
I moved to San Francisco in the fall and am working as the Executive Assistant at California Cloth Foundry, a sustainable clothing company local to the Bay Area. Our mission is to stay dedicated to using California-grown cleaner cotton and ensure that the clothes and textiles are sourced and processed in ecologically and socially conscious ways.

In addition to working at CCF, I signed with a modeling agency, JE Model, at the end of October and have been getting a true insider’s look at the inner workings of the San Francisco fashion industry.

Can you talk about how Colorado College has helped you with your work?
Colorado College’s Block Plan taught me to dig in to my work, completing tasks completely and efficiently. The individualized attention I received from my professors helped me to grow, learn and think in a dynamic and profound way. My sociological studies at CC are deeply ingrained in my thought patterns, pushing me to evaluate my work and the world around me.

For example, in my modeling career, I am constantly evaluating and analyzing gender roles, cultural appropriation and the power of capitalism and how these forces play out in a photoshoot all the way to the final marketing of a product. Because of my professors and the classes I took, I have the privilege of asking myself to dive in and work hard but also to use a critical eye and push for what I believe in.

Has Colorado College helped you in the real world? How so?
Colorado College is, as many colleges are, a bubble of learning and talking to people with similar interests and passions. The world is not like that most of the time. So, in some ways, graduating was a culture shock that nothing could have prepared me for. That being said, Colorado College taught me how to be my own person, think critically, and work hard, qualities which I have found to be invaluable in the real world.

If you had to summarize the overall benefits of the Colorado College experience to a prospective student, what would you say?
Colorado College is full of life, learning and adventure. The professors and students all want to be there and create an atmosphere of support and excitement. I entered CC a quiet and unsure first-year and graduated a confident, knowledgeable, and grounded person, full of energy and ready to take on my next life adventure.

July 2016

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Brian Kopec ’15

Neuroscience Major, Biochemistry Minor

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Enrolled in a Ph.D. program in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Kansas, graduate research assistant

Can you talk about how Colorado College has helped you out throughout graduate school?
I decided to go directly into graduate school at the University of Kansas, and I am currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry. I also work as a graduate research assistant.

Taking a time and labor-intensive class on the Block Plan accurately reflects what life is like in graduate school. For example, I took multiple courses at a time this year on the semester schedule. In a graduate program such as mine, all the classes overlap in terms of content and can almost be thought of as one class. Graduate research is very focused, and most students provide their advisors with biweekly/monthly updates. It’s the student’s responsibility to manage their time between updates with advisors and lab groups.

That being said, being able to buckle down and put effort into studies with minimal guidance for multi-week time periods is the key to success. No one tells you what to do in graduate school, and I’ve learned how to avoid procrastination and falling behind in my projects. CC taught me the so-called grit that I need to have to be successful at KU.

What are some other key events that have happened to you since graduation?
I swam for four years at CC and now won’t touch the water unless I fall off of a boat. I do other things with my time now, but the consistency acquired from college athletics transfers well. I now go to a large school with an awesome D1 basketball program, and things are just drastically different than at CC.

When I’m missing CC the most, I just go outside and try to look for Pikes Peak. You never know, with the flatness of Kansas on a clear day, I may just get lucky!

Has Colorado College helped you in the real world?
The work ethic required to perform well in intensive classes at CC is directly related to life outside of college. Things rarely go as planned in graduate school — my life is filled with constant troubleshooting and do-overs. The ability to rapidly adjust and intensively work on a short-term schedule is key, especially since everything in graduate school is dependent upon execution in the laboratory. If you can tune out everything that is not research-related for a bit, you can make massive strides.

If you had to summarize the overall benefits of the Colorado College experience to a prospective student, what would you say?
For an incoming CC prospect, just know that you can succeed at CC regardless of your background. Working hard for three-and-a-half weeks doesn’t take talent or particular intelligence; you’ll learn how to handle it. If you take classes like Biochemistry 1 with Neena or Neuroscience with Bob and Lori you will be confused, pushed to your limits, frustrated to no end, motivated to perform, and ultimately, successful.

July 2016

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Hunter Lea ’13

French and Francophone Studies Major

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A partner at the Portland Razor Company

Can you talk about how Colorado College has helped you with your job?
Thankfully, finding employment was not the nightmare I heard it might be. I worked multiple temp jobs for two years after graduation before moving to Portland, OR, where I found invigorating work as a bladesmith at the Portland Razor Company. I am now a partner in the company.

CC's rigorous block plan prepared me to handle all kinds of challenges that are not unique to academics: working on a deadline, acquiring new skills in a hurry, and speaking knowledgeably about a broad range of topics. You work far more than 9-5 being a partner at a startup, and there's no immediate payoff. My CC education conditioned me to handle that kind of stress well and even thrive in extreme adversity.

What are some other key events that have happened to you since graduation?
One of my business partners was diagnosed with cancer last year and was gone for an almost year. It was a sink-or-swim moment for me; I had to learn to manage the entire company while performing my existing duties during his absence. Every day felt like fourth week! He has since returned cancer-free and the company is thriving in its third year.

If you had to summarize the overall benefits of the Colorado College experience to a prospective student, what would you say?
I would say that you are only limited by your willingness to go out and find new opportunities and experiences. The block plan is simultaneously all-consuming and liberating—it requires all your energy and attention while giving you the freedom to pursue your own interests. I can say this for certain: it will equip you to handle challenges far beyond academia and make you an invaluable asset to future employers and your community.

July 2016

Joah Chun

Joah Chun ’15

Physics Major, Mathematics Minor

Joah Chun

Mathematics teacher at Denver School of Science and Technology: College View High School

Have you gotten a job since graduation?
Yes! I have worked both as a lead instructor and assistant director of a technology summer camp at University of Denver, and I am now a mathematics teacher at DSST: College View High School!

Has Colorado College helped you in the real world? How so?
I think that CC's been especially instrumental in helping me work in a high-pressure, high-pace environment such as teaching. CC has helped prepare me for both the instructional practices of thinking and thinking through equity-based issues, especially since I work in a low-income school. Further, it's helped me prepare for the work I've had to accomplish in such little time, and has given me so much preparation for sitting and preparing to learn continually. Also, Colorado College has, in many ways, prepared me to listen, to grow, and to know that education is about more than just me. In that way, I can say it's been one of the most foundational things to growing and preparing me for the real world.

The biggest key event for helping me to grow after graduation has probably been my job. In my work atmosphere, both my coworkers and my administrators have been the most inspiring people I've worked with. They have helped me to learn to become the best person I can be, and simultaneously to push myself to be as good a teacher as I can be.

If you had to summarize the overall benefits of the Colorado College experience to a prospective student, what would you say?
I would say that CC has prepared me for a lifetime of learning, and has given me the confidence to be myself in the world, has helped me develop my identity, and given me the resources I need to navigate new spheres of occupation in my time.

July 2016

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Julia Napolitano ’15

Mathematics Major, Art History Minor

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Works at the Nielsen Company

Can you talk about how Colorado College has helped you with your job?
I got a job working at The Nielsen Company in March of my senior year and started last July. I work in a group called the Center of Excellence, which provides services to a wide range of clients on the “buy” side of our business. My first role in this group has been to investigate data quality and product coding issues. My next role starts in August, about a year after starting at Nielsen. It involves analyzing and presenting sales data for global-national clients.

My education at Colorado College has helped me in a couple of ways. I wouldn't say that I directly apply what I learned in my major courses to my everyday job, but I do apply the logic and thinking I developed through those courses. Also, the school's focus on writing and communication skills is beneficial in any workplace. Coming from CC, I took these skills for granted, but after a short time in the workplace, I have realized how important these skills can be.

What are some other key events that have happened to you since graduation?
After graduation, I moved back to my hometown outside of Chicago. Shortly after, I moved into an apartment in the city. Living alone for the first time is a big step. Though I spent my college years far from home, I had never actually lived on my own. I also consider starting my first "real" job a key event. It has helped me discover what I do and don't want to do for the rest of my life. Or at least start to discover. I have spent a few weekends travelling to see friends from CC. The value of the friendships I made in college can't be measured. For example, one of my senior year roommates is coming back from a Fulbright scholarship in Singapore this weekend and one of my other senior year roommates is flying in to Chicago to surprise her. Those types of moments are as the commercials say...priceless.

Has Colorado College helped you in the real world?
Colorado College taught me various things that are helpful in the real world. I learned how important it is to be involved in the political world. Since CC is such a politically active campus, it is significant to at the very least be aware of what is going on in politics. As I explained above, Colorado College also taught me vital communication skills, which are useful within and outside of the workplace. Additionally, the students of CC carry many different viewpoints. Learning to converse with people whom you may not always agree with is a life lesson worth learning. That type of situation is more prevalent in the real world, and it is essential to know how to handle it.

If you had to summarize the overall benefits of the Colorado College experience to a prospective student, what would you say?
Though the CC campus may not be the most ethnically diverse in the country, it is definitely intellectually diverse. Colorado College will expose you to different viewpoints, many of which you may not agree with. However, you will be the better for knowing that they exist. You will learn to understand and better communicate with people who have different ideas than yourself, an invaluable life skill that is best learned at an institution like Colorado College.

July 2016

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Justine Camacho ’15

Creative Writing Major, Asian Studies Minor

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Works at the Aurora Public Library in Aurora, Colorado

Can you talk about how Colorado College has helped you with your job?
Having a degree from a prestigious institution really gave me an edge in the job market. I stood out to employers, and was constantly complimented on graduating with honors from a college with a notoriously low acceptance rate. The hard work I did in school carried over to my career, and even today I channel that same perseverance into my job as a children's librarian.

Has Colorado College helped you in the real world? How so?
I would say that Colorado College has given me a new perspective. It drives my family crazy, but I analyze everything from movies to news headlines. I always have something to talk about because I learned so much during my years at CC. Reading and writing are still very important parts of my life, and I'm proud to say that my time at CC instilled a love for both in me forever. I’ve always enjoyed learning, but because I attended CC, I know how to learn on my own learn on my own terms. I believe that's a beautiful and necessary thing in this ever-changing world.

If you had to summarize the overall benefits of the Colorado College experience to a prospective student, what would you say?
At CC, you're going to be exposed to so many new things; new foods, new friends, and new experiences. Mostly, you're going to have a new view of the world when you leave, one that’s completely different from the world you saw when you first arrived. You won't be the same person as when you stepped through the door for the first time — you’ll be a better one. You'll learn how to make connections, see both sides of an argument, how to be self-sufficient and think for yourself, and if you're lucky, even recognize how unique you are. Hundreds of brilliant students come together and teach and learn from each other, professors listen and care about their classes and the people in them, and you might even become best friends with the non-academic staff.

I'll never forget the camaraderie felt during fourth week, eight times a year, with everyone panicking to get their work done and the collective sigh when the block was over. I've made friends here that I'll have for my whole life. I've experienced things I'll never forget and that I'll always cherish. I wouldn't be who I am today without CC, and not just any school could have shaped me into the successful young woman that I am now. Then again, I live for the challenge.

If you want to change your life, push yourself to be the best you can be, and make memories with friends you'll have forever, going to CC is the right choice for you.

July 2016

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Kira Withrow ’14

Romance Languages Major, Education Minor

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Received an M.A. from University of Denver, teaches at Samuels Elementary School in Denver Public Schools.

Can you talk about how Colorado College has helped you out throughout your career?
Colorado College provided me with the foundation for strong written communication skills and a self-reflective approach to social situations. This has helped me to better express myself and learn from difficult experiences in my journey to teaching.

Specifically, my studies in the Romance Languages have helped me to communicate with my family in both French and Spanish. The education department at CC also exposed me to high quality instruction through experiences in both the classroom and community. The department's focus on cultural responsiveness taught me how to grapple with issues of equity at the school that I teach in.

What are some other key events that have happened to you since graduation?
Growing into adulthood has given me many opportunities to reflect on how to be more authentic in all aspects of my life. Since graduating, I have come out to my family about being nonbinary.

Has Colorado College helped you in the real world? How so?
The most valuable experiences that I had at CC were those that took me outside of my comfort zone. By making friends who were different from me, taking courses such as the Psychology of Prejudice, and studying abroad, I learned how to go from simply encountering difference to welcoming it. As I now work at a school in which the student population speaks 28 different languages and come from 40 different countries, the ability to integrate diverse perspectives into my understanding of the world has been invaluable.

If you had to summarize the overall benefits of the Colorado College experience to a prospective student, what would you say?
CC teaches students to think beyond the classroom and grapple with issues facing us today. The skills that you gain at Colorado College in terms of communication and collaboration serve you in whatever journey you choose to pursue upon graduating. CC is also a place where you can work alongside your peers and professors to rethink power systems in this country if you’re willing to seek out these opportunities. I highly recommend looking into CC's courses focusing on Race and Ethnic studies as well as Feminist and Gender studies, as those were the courses that pushed my thinking the furthest and continue to serve me daily.

July 2016

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Lauren Dinsmore ’14

Sociology Major, Chinese and Feminist & Gender Studies Minor

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Works as Senior Student Services Coordinator at CET Academic Programs

Can you talk about how Colorado College has helped you with your job?
My Chinese minor and my time abroad were the experiences that influenced the desire for my current position. However, my major in Sociology influences everything I do at my current office and influences the way I discuss and solve problems. It gives me an edge in my field because I’m able to tackle issues with a fresh and nuanced perspective. Because Sociology is relevant to any field of expertise, it shapes the way I think about present issues within my career.

What are some other key events that have happened to you since graduation?
I’ve spent my free time since graduation traveling outside of the United States. I’ve traveled to Vietnam, China, and Iceland, both for work and vacation. My study abroad experience at CET shaped my interests and keeps me exploring. It’s easy to meet people from all over the world in my current field, and I’m always searching for the next adventure.

How has Colorado College helped you in the real world?
My Sociology professors helped develop my professional and social cognitive skills. I can solve issues quickly and efficiently, and I also think about the big picture. I bring creative solutions to the table because my professors kept me constantly thinking and evolving every block. I’m able to flourish in my current company because of how I’ve grown adept to learning at CC.

If you had to summarize the overall benefits of the Colorado College experience to a prospective student, what would you say?
My CC education gives me a leg up in the workplace every day. What makes you marketable when you leave CC is the ability to solve problems. Give me a problem, and I’ll give you at least a hundred different solutions. Whether through the block plan, a tough professor, or a thought-provoking class, you’re going to be pushed to learn in ways you haven’t experienced previously.

July 2016

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Louisa Rich ’15

Sociology Major, French Minor

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Attending the University Of Virginia School Of Law, intern at the Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville, VA

Can you talk about how Colorado College has helped you out throughout graduate school?
Having discussion based classes is helpful for the way that law school is taught. Also the amount of reading I did at CC is comparable to my law school reading load, so it was not too difficult to transition in that sense.

Can you talk about how Colorado College has helped you with your internship?
The sociology department at Colorado College did a good job of offering me different ways to think about wealth and inequality. Right now I am working at a non-profit that offers legal services for low income people who cannot afford it, so having that sociology background influenced me in choosing this job.

If you had to summarize the overall benefits of the Colorado College experience to a prospective student, what would you say?
The greatest thing about the block plan is getting the chance to explore and take a class outside of your major—it almost feels like a workshop. For example, I signed up for documentary filmmaking my senior year despite having no film experience, and it was so memorable for me because I had a documentary short done in 3 and a half weeks. It was a ton of work, but getting to completely dive into something fun like that is a rare opportunity. The block plan also allows for more field trips and off-campus learning since the professor has power over everyone’s schedule. In another one of my favorite courses, “Deviance and Social Control,” we got to visit two very different prisons, go to “Focus on the Family,” and go out into the Colorado Springs community.

The best part about Colorado College is the opportunity to explore vastly different things from month to month. To get the most of the CC liberal arts experience, I highly recommend getting out of your major and trying everything that interests you.

July 2016

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Lucas Bowyer ’15

Computer Science Major, Physics Minor

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Works as a consultant for IBM and Microsoft through Multivision

Can you talk about how Colorado College has helped you with your career?
Colorado College helped me realize that I love to program, and I'll always be thankful of that. If they didn’t have their Computer Science major, I wouldn’t have found what sort of career I’d like to do! Colorado College also gave me a real appreciation of the outdoors, which I try to keep with me wherever I go.

What are some other key events that have happened to you since graduation?
I've traveled a lot. I flew to Virginia to live in corporate housing, and then I had to drive across the country to Seattle right after that. It was very stressful trying to find a place to live and do all of this alone. However, I learned a lot, and stuck to some comforting rituals (such as running and cooking) that kept me grounded. Since living on my own, I've learned that while depending on yourself is tough, it’s also empowering over time.

Has Colorado College helped you in the real world? How so?
Colorado College helped me develop a work ethic, and gave me the freedom to explore new things such as coding. It was liberating to have such freedom in choosing my thesis project and having the time to dive into it. I believe if I had gone to a technical school, I wouldn't have gotten that same freedom to grow.

If you had to summarize the overall benefits of the Colorado College experience to a prospective student, what would you say?
I would say that Colorado College is a school that will bring out the real you. With so much support and freedom to grow, it’s hard not to find yourself at Colorado College. If you need to find out what you like to do, or if you aren't sure you've discovered who you are, Colorado College will certainly help you to do that.

July 2016

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Lynn Doan ’14

Molecular and Cellular Biology Major, Global Health Minor

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Research Assistant at the University of Colorado School Of Dental Medicine

Can you talk about how Colorado College has helped you with your career?
Colorado College helped me get my first job since graduation and, without a doubt, every job since. Through CC's Public Interest Fellowship Program (PIFP), I gained meaningful work experience immediately after graduation.

I began my professional career as a strategic engagement fellow at the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative (CCHI) where I worked on diverse projects in the healthcare field. Because of the PIFP fellowship, I had the opportunity to build a strong foundation in my career and significantly expand my professional network. After my yearlong fellowship, I was able to work as an independent contractor in the oral healthcare field and served as a project coordinator for various programs locally and nationally. During this time, I was also applying to dental schools, and I am pleased to say that I will matriculate at the University of Colorado School Of Dental Medicine in August 2016.

I am currently working as a research assistant at the University of Colorado School Of Dental Medicine and applying my recent work experience to conduct research.

I honestly would not be where I am today without CC's PIFP program, and the fellowship cohort, mentoring, training, and networking opportunities I received during my fellowship.

Has Colorado College helped you in the real world?
Colorado College helps me every single day in the real world because I was taught how to think critically. Because of the small class size, the in-class discussions, and experiential learning at CC, I became an active learner rather than a passive recipient of information.

If you had to summarize the overall benefits of the Colorado College experience to a prospective student, what would you say?
The Colorado College experience goes beyond your undergraduate degree and permeates into all areas of your life. Without a doubt, CC will help you develop into a better-rounded person, learner, and worker.

July 2016

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Tucker Hampson ’16

Creative Writing Major, Journalism Minor

Tucker-Hampson

Production Assistant at Rocky Mountain PBS

Can you talk about how Colorado College has helped you with your current job?
The classes I took at CC have provided me with a very strong base to begin a professional career in film and audio production. Creative writing, journalism, and documentary film are just some of the classes that taught me how to make a compelling and unique story, something that has merged seamlessly with my job. Most of what I do involves creation—shaping stories, filming, and editing interviews and experiences to create engaging stories. The techniques and eye for detail that I have developed through CC have been incredibly influential in helping me to retell these experiences.

What are some other key events that have happened to you since graduation?
Though it hasn't been long since graduation, a lot of things are already very different. I have been commuting to work in a city I have never been to and interacting with a group of people much older and more experienced than myself. Despite this, I feel confident and ready to take on the challenge. The sense of self-worth and inquisitiveness I gained at CC has helped me tremendously in transitioning to a more adult experience and will continue to give me the skills I need to tackle graduate school and a professional career.

If you had to summarize the overall benefits of the Colorado College experience to a prospective student, what would you say?
I don't think the Colorado College experience can be described accurately to anyone else, simply because it is so unique and powerful for each person. CC was where I figured out what I was passionate about, and once that happened, the school gave me some very important skills to do what I love. This includes the intense focus and drive and insightfulness to see beneath the surface in a way that most people don't know how to do.

For me, CC was never about finding the right answer, getting the grade, or doing things the way everyone else did. It was about becoming confident in who I am deep down, without validation or renown, and developing the priceless skill of problem solving under stressful deadlines. I think these skills are far more important than anything else I could have learned, because without them, any practical skills would be useless in the real world. Instead of learning how to fit a key into a lock, I learned how to forge keys. In today’s rapidly changing world, I would bet my money on someone who can adapt rather than someone who is the best at one solution.

July 2016

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Will Heberlein ’14

History and Classics Major

Will Heberlein

Graduated from the University of Colorado with an MA in Classics with a focus in Classical Antiquity

Can you talk about how Colorado College has helped you out throughout graduate school?
Studying at Colorado College was huge in terms of my preparation for graduate school. In graduate school, you're frequently expected to accomplish a great deal of work in a short span of time, finishing several huge projects and papers while grading undergraduate exams and doing tons of reading! There were many times at CC where I’d have to write long, difficult papers and do a lot of work at once without feeling overwhelmed, so adjusting to this was not difficult for me.

Have you gotten a job since graduation?
I had a job as a TA for some time! I taught undergraduates about ancient Greek and Roman history and archaeology in recitation sections, assisted the classics professors, and graded examinations and papers. CC helped me with multiple aspects of this job because it gave me the thorough background in ancient history that I needed to help teach undergraduates about Greece and Rome, and the interdisciplinary approach of many of my classes helped me make connections between subjects like history, literature, and classics.

Tutoring Greek and Latin with CC's Classics Department was also very helpful in teaching me how to help others learn, starting me on a path toward teaching. I really appreciated CC's focused discussions and the connections they helped us draw to our own experiences, and I tried to bring this philosophy into my teaching.

What are some other key events that have happened to you since graduation?
It was challenging in some ways to be living in Boulder and attending such a huge campus, but I now feel like I have a better sense where both large schools and small schools fit in the world of academia and learning. Completing the intense examinations of University of Colorado's classics program was definitely a major life achievement, too! For the first time, I had the chance to focus on particular areas of study, namely Greek religion and Greek history. I now feel like I have an area of expertise!

Has Colorado College helped you in the real world? How so?
I feel like everything I learned at CC has been a huge part of my development as a person. My friends and I still have many discussions about the topics we learned about at CC, from Buddhism to Greek Mythology to politics to history to astrophysics. The sense of community at CC has helped me develop connections with interesting people, and helped me make important decisions in politics and other aspects of my life. Connecting with thoughtful and kind people at places like CC's Shove Chapel has helped me figure out who I am and made me want to give back to the world. All things considered, I feel like CC has given me the ideal background for life!

If you had to summarize the overall benefits of the Colorado College experience to a prospective student, what would you say?
I would describe CC as the ideal place to connect with fellow students and professors who are interested in ideas. It’s a place that gives you the chance to explore those ideas in class and learn an incredible amount. I'd say that classes offer an interdisciplinary approach that helps you see the connections between different subjects and connections to your own life. The professors are approachable, the students are insightful, the campus is beautiful, and in general, there's a strong feeling of community. That's exactly what I wanted out of my college experience, and it's why I'm very satisfied with my time at CC.

July 2016

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Megan Masuret ’14

Psychology Major

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Since CC, I spent two years working in wilderness therapy in Wisconsin. During the first year, I worked as a direct care staff member, living in the woods for a week at a time, year-round. During the second year, I supervised boys programming. Currently, I do case management for social services.

Benefits of the CC experience?
CC has shown me that my interests do not have to be confined by academic departments. I love the outdoors and I love psychology, and I can find my niche in a profession that incorporates both of those things. CC has also taught me the power of relationships and to learn from everyone around you because everyone has a story to tell and a lesson to teach.

Impacts of your major?
I studied psychology at CC and I have worked exclusively in mental health ever since and probably always will. Apart from the theories and principles that I learned in the classroom, my background in psychology has helped me remain empathetic and compassionate while working with severely damaged kids. Psychology taught me that the anger, violence, and addictions that people develop are just symptoms of a hurt that is rooted much deeper.

Key milestones?
Some milestones since graduating are being a member of the leadership team for one of the top wilderness therapy companies in the country and having a proposal accepted at a national wilderness symposium. The proposal was on the importance of transitional objects (like teddy bears and blankets, which serve to comfort children in place of their mothers), and it ended up being presented by the lead therapist and the president of the company.

Future aspirations?
I am planning on applying to PsyD and PhD programs in psychology. I want to be able to do assessments on criminals to determine whether or not they are fit to stand trial. Someday I will also have a farm with a husky, a golden retriever, hundreds of barn cats, a tree house, and a horse, and become an equine therapist and work with juvenile delinquents.

July 2016

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Chelsea Cole-Fletcher ’14

Asian Studies Major

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After graduating CC, I got married to my husband, who is an Air Force officer (we graduated the same year) and we are currently stationed at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan! We have now been married for two years and two months and counting! My life after CC has been a total 180, especially with getting used to the married life and being a military spouse in one swoop. Currently, I work on base at the Airman and Family Readiness Center helping military personnel, Department of Defense employees, and their families acclimate to Kadena and adjust to life in a new environment. I am also looking to start my master's of science in international relations with a global studies concentration.

Benefits of the CC experience?
I will say that after graduating from the amazing CC experience, I really did not know what direction to take, or what limitations I would face being a military spouse who has to move every three to four years in terms of developing a career. But I now realize that while being a military spouse comes with its unique set of challenges, it does not hold me back from setting goals and achieving them. So the flexibility and mental dexterity I learned from my time at CC has definitely come in handy, especially in adapting to new environments.

Impacts of your major?
I graduated with a degree in Asian Studies with a focus on Japan, so living in Japan has been amazing thus far and what I’ve learned through the major has been a big help in day-to-day functioning.

Future aspirations?
I’m not sure for now but I would love to start working toward becoming an international programs director after getting my degree. I loved my study-abroad experience during my time at CC and I would love to help other students experience the adventure of living abroad.

July 2016

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Isobel McBride ’15

Theatre Major

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After graduation, I moved home to New York City to live with my parents and pursue a career in the performing arts. In the past year, I have been exploring different ways of making work as a dancer and actor in this crowded and competitive town. It’s been tough, but thrilling! At this particular moment I am between jobs, and reflecting on whether or not I want to stay in New York, or move on to another city that is more affordable and less ego-driven.

Benefits of the CC experience?
My time at CC instilled in me a deep value for community. The friendships and creative relationships I cultivated at CC were whole-hearted, challenging, and inspiring. As a result, I am constantly seeking friends and collaborators who are compassionate, thoughtful, and adventurous. My expectations are high, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Impacts of your major?
Being a theatre major greatly enhanced my communication skills and my creative confidence. I have an immense trust in my creative instincts, and no qualms about articulating them. I think a lot of young artists come to New York feeling timid and unworthy, and don’t know how to advocate for themselves. I am grateful for the creative freedom I had at CC and the support I received from my professors and peers. It continues to bolster me today!

Key milestones?
For most of the year, I have been performing with Fooju Dance Collaborative, a ragamuffin collective of dancers, actors, writers, and musicians, many of whom are CC alums (it was founded by Dolo McComb ’12 and Adam Dickerson ’13). It’s a radical and necessary outlet for all of our best and worst ideas.

In May, I had my New York City theatre debut as the title character in Peter Nichols’ “A Day in the Death of Joe Egg,” which was produced by a young theatre company called The Night Shift, at the IRT Theater in Greenwich Village. Joe is a ten-year-old child with severe cerebral palsy and is both epileptic and quadriplegic. It was an honor and a thrill to inhabit her fraught and sensitive body.

I also got certified to teach gyrokinesis, which is a movement form at the intersection of expressive and healing modalities. It has similar benefits to yoga, pilates, and tai chi, but it’s taught in a fluid choreography, much like a dance class. Gyro has made me a stronger, more supple, and sensitive mover, and I’m incredibly excited to impart this kinesthetic wisdom to others.

Future aspirations?
Yes! Pursuing the life of a performer in New York can feel very egocentric, so I’m looking to lift my gaze from my navel for a bit. I make art because I believe that it’s intrinsically healing — the process and the product for both maker and viewer— but I feel estranged from this notion at the moment. I’m ready to delve deeper into healing work, perhaps through working in wilderness education or wilderness therapy. Who knows? I’m curious and excited.

July 2016

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Rayna Ben-Zeev ’15

Environmental Science Major

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In July, I returned from a 9-month Fulbright grant in Singapore studying the relationship between mangroves and fisheries resources. I worked with the incredible Dan Friess at National University of Singapore (NUS), designing my project, putting GoPro cameras and fish traps along Singapore’s mangrove and rocky shore coastlines, and then analyzing fish video data. When I wasn’t watching fish swim across a computer screen, I got to spend time outside and work closely with local fish farmers. One fisherman became a really good friend, volunteering to pick me up with his boat almost weekly to help out with my fieldwork. During off hours, I got to spend time on this fish farmer’s floating fish farm, learning first-hand about the developmental and environmental issues influencing fish resources, water quality, livelihoods, and habitats. These experiences allowed me to reach a nice balance between field days and lab days in the big, bustling, modern metropolis of Singapore.

I just returned home from a one-week conference called MMM4 - Mangrove & Macrobenthos Meeting. It’s an international discussion that occurs once every four years on global mangrove research (good timing, right?). This year it was in St. Augustine, Florida, and I presented my year’s work as a poster. My favorite part was hanging out with researchers from all corners of the world: Florida, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Colombia, Belgium, France, Germany, Kenya, South Africa, the UK, Cameroon, and even more I can’t remember. Some became good friends who I hope to collaborate with in the next few years.

Benefits of the CC experience?
More than anything else, CC turned on a spark of curiosity that motivated me to want to keep learning. I have already forgotten some of my blocks, but now I feel as if I am more adequately in touch with the way my specific brain functions, so I can most effectively absorb and retain information on my own. And since I’m more familiar with these strategies, it’s much easier to seek out the topics and opportunities I want to explore further. This is a skill I don’t think I could have acquired at just any institution.

Impacts of your major?
I like the environmental program because it doesn’t just teach the necessary skills to conduct field, lab, and quantitative research, but really gets you thinking about the big ideas. My favorite EV blocks were ones that took week-long field trips where we could hang out and explore while part of a 24-hour outdoor classroom environment. When I realized I liked this kind of thing, I began seeking out other situations that would provide similar types of in-depth but also enjoyable learning experiences.

Key milestones?
This isn’t a milestone per se, but I was involved with a really cool project outside of my formal research that I’m super enthusiastic about. It’s called the RUM (Restore Ubin Mangroves) initiative, where many stakeholders work to restore mangroves in abandoned aquaculture ponds on an island off the east coast of Singapore called Pulau Ubin. What’s cool about this project is that it’s not just scientists working to protect nature, but also a variety of community members. Stakeholders such as local fish farmers, Wildsingapore outreach and blog, the Mangrove Lab at NUS, Gamefish and Aquatic Restoration Society, and Marine Conservation Group of the Nature Society all play their own key roles. Mapping the abandoned ponds begins this August, but while I was in Singapore, I helped by joining monthly meetings with stakeholders and also conducting preliminary fish surveys. I hope I get the chance to return to Singapore to see how this mangrove restoration project progresses. Our restoration team hopes that this project can serve as a microcosm for mangrove restoration projects across all of Southeast Asia.

Future aspirations?
For the next few months I’ll spend my time writing and editing my Fulbright project for submission in an academic journal (hopefully), and writing my grant applications for graduate school. For now, I hope to continue studying mangroves, climate, and local communities in Southeast Asia, but I’m sure this path will keep transforming and meandering. That’s what I think is so cool about science and research. You don’t have to decide on a definite life path, but can instead hop between projects and collaborations you find relevant and interesting at the time.

July 2016

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Ryan Patterson ’12

International Political Economy Major

Ryan Patterson

Fellow/Program Associate at El Pomar Foundation in Colorado Springs

Key milestones since graduation?
Being selected for the two-year El Pomar Foundation Fellowship program with an emphasis on professional and leadership development through management of community development programs and support of statewide grantmaking to nonprofits. Second is finally completing 50 5k runs at Jack Quinn's running club. Third is following through with my commitment to summit as many 14ers as possible while I'm still in Colorado (I've only done six but you have to start somewhere!) And fourth is to complete a sub-30 minute Incline time, which has been a long-time goal. (Read more about the Manitou Incline here: http://www.manitouincline.com)

How has your CC education helped you in the real world?
What are the benefits of the CC experience? Colorado College equips its graduates with a strong ability to learn quickly, perform under pressure and short deadlines, adapt to and welcome change, and most importantly, think critically and explore opportunity and take risks.

April 2014

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Billy Zuke ’12

Biochemistry Major

Billy-Zuke

Student at Indiana University School of Medicine

Key milestones since graduation?
Getting into medical school.

How has your CC education helped you in the real world?
The friendships that were built at CC are the ones that will last a lifetime. The fast-paced courses at CC also prepared me for classes in medical school.

April 2014

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Hanna Hoopingarner ’13

Mathematical Economics Major

Hanna-Hoopingarner

Associate Consultant at Semler Brossy Consulting Group

Key milestones since graduation?
Buying a car, moving to Los Angeles, paying all of my own bills (and yes I do now pay my own cell phone bill, which was the last and final futile hold I had on being a college student without bills), starting my job, starting to feel like I am good at my job and being brave enough to start making friends in any situation at any time. (Learning to say YES to almost anything someone invites you to can be hard but that is literally the only way to make it in a new city without close friends or family).

How has your CC education helped you in the real world?
CC helped me learn to handle stress and know what to do when I have a lot to do and very little time to do it. Being a student-athlete definitely helped with this. CC also helped me to push through tough assignments.

April 2014

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Margo Davis ’13

Environmental Science Major, Anthropology Minor

Margo-Davis

Environmental Scientist at AKRF

Key milestones since graduation?
One of the most important milestones was identifying that the job I started right after graduation was not what I was interested in pursuing, and then recommitting myself to finding a job where I felt passionate about what I was doing. From then on it was a blur of applications and networking that finally ended with a set of interviews at a firm I became enamored with through my research. The single-most noteworthy moment was getting the phone call with a job offer, my heart was racing and it was incredibly difficult to try to sound professional while being that thrilled.

How has your CC education helped you in the real world?
My CC education helped me in more ways than I can count, but the ability to think critically and understand both the finer details and the broader context of a given problem are among the biggest takeaways. I also think that the way you learn at CC very closely mimics the work environment, where you need to pick up new things quickly and know how to efficiently budget your time. This eased my transition into my position itself, but also was important while I was searching for a job. It could be overwhelming working full time while putting so much time and energy into the job hunt, but because I had those four years of a fast-paced and demanding schedule it was manageable.

April 2014

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Johnny Reed ’13

French and Francophone Studies Major w/focus on International Relations & Law

Johnny-Reed

8th Grade English Teacher at Theron Swainston Middle School in Las Vegas

Key milestones since graduation?
Relocating to Las Vegas and being plugged into a fast-paced and fruitful professional atmosphere, pursuing a master’s degree in secondary education (7-12) with an emphasis in curriculum and instruction and teaching English as a Second Language, speaking on behalf of Teach For America corps members at the Nevada Board of Trustees and Superintendent committee meeting, and being accepted as an Advocacy and Policy Fellow for LEE (Leadership for Educational Equity) to focus on education reform policy in Chicago during the summer of 2014.

How has your CC education helped you in the real world?
CC has prepared me for the “real world” by allowing me to grow and understand the many facets of my identity: who I was, who I am in any given situation, who I am growing to be and, most importantly, how the world perceives me as a young, educated African American male. This psychological and personal advancement has also fostered the development of my individual agency — my ability to set goals, hold myself accountable, and remain disciplined, all while understanding that hard work ALWAYS pays off. This is a remarkable skill that I have honed, but its foundation is unquestionably grounded in the Colorado College community, through my many social, cultural, academic, extracurricular, and professional commitments.

April 2014

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Annie Burcham ’13

English Major, Anthropology Minor

Annie-Burcham

Account Executive at Global Prairie marketing firm

Key milestones since graduation?
One of the biggest milestones was officially being hired by the second company I interned for after a three-and-a-half month internship.

How has your CC education helped you in the real world?
Learning to work under pressure and fast-paced deadlines. The Block Plan is phenomenal for that. The ability to hit deadlines under pressure is huge in the industry I am in.

April 2014

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David Scott ’13

Environmental Science Major

David-Scott

Math Fellow for the Denver Math Fellows

Key milestones since graduation?
Probably getting a salary job and buying a real bed.

How has your CC education helped you in the real world?
I tutor groups of one to four middle school students in math everyday. CC taught me how to organize my life so I have enough time outside of work to enjoy my true passions, such as soccer and snowboarding.

April 2014

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Katy Stetson ’13

English-Classics Major

katystetson

Tech recruiting at Cypress HCM, San Francisco

Key milestones since graduation?
Signing my apartment lease. San Francisco is notorious for its competitive housing market, and I spent my first eight or so months in the city bopping around from apartment to apartment. Luckily there’s a fantastic CC network out here, so it was easy to find temporary places through friends. The constant movement gave me a great feel for the city and its different neighborhoods, but I never felt settled. Signing a lease with another CC grad and having a place to call our own was a big deal.

How has your CC education helped you in the real world?
I’m working for a small tech recruiting firm. I find individuals – from back end developers to creative directors – who are the right technical and cultural fit for our clients. The benefits of my CC education can’t be summarized in any kind of short answer, but I will say the intensity with which we carried out our college years has definitely given me a leg up on my peers. CC prepares us to be efficient, concise, and confident in our decisions. If I don’t know how to solve the problem in front of me (be it work-related or personal), I know how to go about finding the right resources to help.

April 2014

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Katie Titley ’13

Environmental Science Major

Katie-Titley

Manager at Richards/Climan, Inc. Theatrical General Management Firm

Key milestones since graduation?
Moving to New York City, satisfying and gratifying employment, and embarking on a new adventure.

How has your CC education helped you in the real world?
I work for a theatrical general management company as a member of the management team. We manage Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. I've found that learning and working on the Block Plan has been most beneficial to my career. Show business is incredibly fast-paced. Thanks to the Block Plan, I am able to do an incredible amount of work under a tight deadline. Additionally, having been a science major, I am incredibly detail-oriented, analytical, resourceful, and efficient. A liberal arts education dared me to find the courage to pursue a passion, but I attribute my environmental science major to be the root of my success in this business. CC encouraged me to investigate and pursue all my interests and passions, no matter the obstacles. No leap is too large, no ideas too crazy, no actions too challenging! Lastly, CC gave me the greatest friends who continue to provide support and love in the "real world."

April 2014

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Ryan Gall ’13

Geology Major

Ryan-Gall

Well Site Geologist, Great Divide Consulting

Key milestones since graduation?
I now work in the petroleum industry. I was also recently accepted into graduate school at the University of Utah. I'm very excited to begin working towards a master’s degree in geology this fall. I have a few post-graduation milestones. The first was obtaining my current job and moving to Denver. I love my work and schedule and really enjoy the Denver lifestyle on my time off. Another awesome milestone is a 40-day backpacking trip through China, Thailand, and Indonesia. This is sort of "the cap" on my post-graduation working life, as soon I'll be moving to Salt Lake City for graduate school. I'm beyond excited for this opportunity!

How has your CC education helped you in the real world?
Being part of the Geology Department at CC provided many benefits. I received top-notch exposure to geologic knowledge and methods via many field trips to some of the best geologic exposures in the country, and I learned it all from enthusiastic and highly respected professors. My CC geology degree alone has opened many doors, as the program is known across the geology community for preparing its students exceptionally well for careers and further study in earth sciences. And, of course, the friendships I made with other funky, fun, and driven CC students is a very cherished benefit of being a CC grad. CC prepared me for the real world simply by giving me the gusto to say "I can do this" to each problem or aspiration that manifests in my life. I see having this confidence as the key to success and happiness in the "real world."

April 2014

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Nancy Makuch ’13

Biology Major

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Researcher at Tufts Veterinary School

Key milestones since graduation?
At the moment, I am working three jobs. I work at Tufts Vet School researching lead poisoning in wildlife, at Flour Bakery in downtown Boston, and I work at the New England Aquarium doing sea turtle and marine mammal rescue. Moving to Boston, a new city where I didn't know anyone or anything, and starting new has been a big milestone! Also earning the internship at the aquarium as it was a highly competitive program.

How has your CC education helped you in the real world?
The high-intensity science classes and non-stop schedule of CC have helped me a lot. Being on a sports team, in a sorority, and a science major while I was at CC made me learn to balance my schedule and prioritize my time. Now, working three jobs, I feel as if I am just reliving the fast pace of CC. CC also prepared me for the science world. The high standards that all professors required set me straight for the high standards in the science world today. Finally, CC also taught me to enjoy life and have fun! I joined the MIT outdoor winter school and started to ice climb! When you go to CC, you can't forget about the outdoors; it's ingrained in us!

April 2014

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Marissa Gradoz ’13

Biology Major

Marissa-Gradoz

Receptionist at Longmont Integrative Family Practice physician’s office and high school girls’ basketball coach at Monarch High School and Longmont Legends Basketball Club

Key milestones since graduation?
Finding a job! And I'm in the process of applying to physical therapy school and other graduate programs, so hopefully a master's degree is in the near-ish future!

How has your CC education helped you in the real world?
Aside from the obvious benefit of a bachelor’s degree, my CC education really helped guide me toward so many potential career paths. There are so many things to experience there and I think the fact that I took so many classes in so many departments helped me to solidify what direction I wanted to go. I also got so much hands-on experience. I always tell people about the lab work and field research I did, and it definitely rolls over into so many jobs now! It's tough finding "entry-level" jobs because so many require some type of past experiences, but the projects I did in all of my CC classes usually satisfy any requirements the employers are looking for. Also, CC is one my most favorite places in the world because I met some of the best people in the world there.

April 2014